Unauthorised protest against COVID-19 measures turns violent in Bratislava

The protest took place at a time when assemblies with more than six people are banned.

The protest in Bratislava turned violent.The protest in Bratislava turned violent. (Source: SITA)

Several hundreds of people, mostly those who call themselves “ultras” and supporters of the far-right Kotlebovci – People’s Party Our Slovakia, protested in the streets of Bratislava on October 17.

A crowd of some 400-500 people came to the Government’s Office, insulting PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) and criticising the measures imposed to contain the coronavirus disease. Some of them even lit signal flares and threw them over the fence, the SITA newswire reported.

The protesters also started throwing stones, bottles and firecrackers at the police officers who oversaw the demonstration. After the situation escalated, they used tear gas and water cannons. Several people were injured, including police officers.

The protest took place at a time when all public assemblies with more than six people are banned. The measure came into force on October 13. Moreover, a national emergency was declared on October 1.

Many of the participants did not wear masks either. The duty to wear masks outside came into force on October 15.

The police thus started dealing with the breach of the rules related to special measures.

“Today’s gathering has turned in a few minutes into a clump of ultra-right radicals who in some cases showed signs of being under the influence of alcohol,” the police wrote on Facebook.

Both Matovič and Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo have condemned the protest, while Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) promised that the participants will not escape justice.

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